Lovers of spoken word will want to put this Pride Week event on their list of things to do this month.
On July 4, 10 wordsmiths will take the stage at the Ambrosia Conference Centre to share their innermost feelings at Pride in the Word.
Among the writers/performers is Erin Cotton, past Victoria Slam champion and quick-tongued poet.
“I went to the Spoken Word Festival and it blew my mind wide open,” she says. “I wanted to keep doing it forever.”
She became involved enough to become volunteer coordinator with Tongues of Fire, a diverse poetry community committed to the art of spoken word and performance poetry among other forms of literature.
“It’s surprising to people who have a certain idea of poetry being read in a monotone that puts half the crowd to sleep. This is very noisy, it’s a very loud show and the audience is loud too, mostly,” she says of the twice monthly spoken word open mic that includes feature performers.
“It’s part ethos, part spoken word and slam with audience involvement. They yell at the judges and get involved in the jokes. There’s a lot of group rituals – it’s partly a cult,” she says. “Except with rules.”
First rule: “Leave your hate at the gate.”
“The audience loves it, just that you’re up there doing it. There’s nothing hateful, nothing obscene.”
Cotton is looking forward to seeing Ivan Coyote at the, perhaps, more sedate Pride in the Word. Coyote is an award-winning author of 10 books, creator of four short films, and three CDs that combine storytelling with music. “Ivy Coyote is amazing, so good. The prom queen of storytelling performance in Canada. It’s worth going just to see Ivan,” she says.
Other performers include J. McLaughlin, Ali Blythe, Arleen Paré, Michael V Smith, Alfred DePew, Nacho Rodriguez, Monique and Robin Stevenson.
Pride In The Word
July 4, 7-10pm